Posts tagged St. Charles Avenue

Annual Ode to Muses!!

Muses 2013

Muses 2013 Title Float

There is no competition when Muses hits St. Charles Avenue, in terms of original throws. There are a couple of different reasons for Muses’ unique throws. One the one hand they control all throws all members can toss. The krewe is rather large, at least 1,100 women.

On the other hand, they make the maximum amount of money on very expensive throws with small margins. The public benefits from these factors.

In 2013, I saw very few decorated shoes coming off the floats this year. Contrast this with my experience at the Zulu parade on Jackson Avenue. When the double deck floats arrived, I personally caught 5 coconuts in 10 minutes, then had to leave to make it to REX on time. If I had stuck around I would have caught a dozen coconuts from these double decker floats. Granted my costume was extensive for Zulu but for Muses I had my masculinity going for me.

Muses handed me lots of cool throws, I caught a powerful ring flashlight;a light up shopping bag medallion; a magnetic shopping list with pad and special marker; a reusable shopping bag, a collapsible flask with caribener; a heavy duty guide to the Makin’ Grocery floats that could double as a picnic blanket; shoe laces in a cool plastic test tube; koozies; kazoos; shoe bracelets; lariats; other medallions; shoe beads; coin purses, etc. It seemed relatively endless in terms of the variety of Muses stuff thrown off the floats.

Muses Coin Purse

Muses Coin Purse

Pussyfooters at Muses Parade

Pussyfooters at Muses Parade

Muses Shoe

Muses Shoe

This makes Muses a very high priced parade to ride in. I assume the dues is far less than the throws. By a wide margin. Again the public benefits from the wild variety of throws Muses throws.

Muses seems to pull marching organizations out of the wood work. No parade on St. Charles Avenue has more. They include the Pussyfooters; the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi;the 610 Stompers; the Camel Toe Lady Steppers; Disco Amigos; the Dead Rock Stars, and many more.

Muses High Heel Version

Muses High Heel Version

Amazing Capes Comes to the Mardi Gras!!

Purple Reversible Amazing Cape

Purple Reversible Amazing Cape

I generally dress in the colors of purple, green and gold for Fat Tuesday. I’ve always identified with Mardi Gras, and dressing in those colors seemed like the right thing to do. Below is a picture of me on Fat Tuesday in my purple, green and gold costume. You can tell by the squinting of my eyes that I’m smiling broadly.

I was hanging out on, as I was mulling over ideas to try out there. I notice an Amazing Capes project, and I took a look (to try your own project on kickstarter, it helps to donate to a few projects first).

Me on Fat Tuesday on St.Charles Avenue

Me on Fat Tuesday on St. Charles Avenue

So for $35 I became a kickstarter backer of the Amazing Capes project, and for that money I was promised an Amazing Capes for my backing. I asked for a purple, green and gold cape, but was told that the initial production line only included a set number of designs, and the purple cape edged in gold (named Noble Rainbow) with a multicolor striped reverse was the closest one. Since one side was a correct color of Carnival, I felt the cape would work well with the rest of my costume, and I was told as late as yesterday that cape would be shipped on February 4. As Fat Tuesday is February12, I am sitting pretty with my new cape arriving in time for the big day.

Kickstarter is an amazing online beast with a crowdfunding model that works for many and fails for many more. If you ask for $1,000 and you raise $999 in the prescribed period, you don’t get the money and you have to return it all to the backers.

Indy musician Amanda Palmer asked for $100,000 for new concept album, and raised $1.2 million.

I helped a local roots rocker, Lynn Drury, fund her West Coast/Canada tour via kickstarter. My $25 got me an autographed copy of her latest CD. She asked for $3,500 and received $3,615. Half her money came in during the last 48 hours. She made her goal and made her tour. The tour was booked, she needed food, hotel and gas money for the trip.

Lynn Drury b&w

Lynn Drury b&w

Though lots of folks mask during the Carnival season, more don’t. One thing about masking; the minute the mask comes on and you go outside, your identity is hidden. As people who know you approach you, they won’t know you with the mask on.

During Carnival, to mask, is an exhilarating experience, and it’s liberating also. It’s liberating because you are not recognized for yourself, and it’s exhilarating because it frees you up to act differently while the mask hides your identity.

I remember when I was in my twenty’s, I hated for Carnival to come to an end. I never told anyone of this feeling, since I didn’t want to appear crazy! Fortunately, as I got older, this feeling lessened, and now it’s gone completely.

My advice to all those who attend any Carnival event around the globe, in New Orleans, Galveston, Cannes, Viareggio, Mobile, etc., is to MASK!!!








What is the Real Spirit of Mardi Gras?

Robert Tallant on Left With Friends    photo courtesy New Orleans Public Library

Robert Tallant on Left With Friends photo courtesy New Orleans Public Library

Robert Tallant, the New Orleans author, said it all- Mardi Gras is a spirit…an immortal one…as immortal as man’s ability to make believe, to escape the dreariness of the everyday life that is most men’s portion, to have fun, laugh and to play…Mardi Gras is very old, but it is also very young. It belongs to the past, yet also to the present and the future. The face it wears is not necessarily its last. It will exist in other forms, in other times, in other places. It would be wonderful if the clown in the grinning mask should appear on all the Main Streets of the world, if the blazing flambeaux and the rocking floats there could be a season or at least a day devoted to Laughter.

More on Robert Tallant photography here @ nutriasdotorg.

Mardi Gras Revelers, New Orleans, 1905

New Orleans Mardi Gras Revelers, 1905

Robert Tallant Photo of Mardi Gras Truck Maskers

Robert Tallant Photo of Mardi Gras Truck Maskers Courtesy New Orleans Public Library

A Group Of Maskers on Canal Street During Carnival New Orleans Postcard, 1914

A Group Of Maskers on Canal Street During Carnival New Orleans Postcard, 1914

The color photo above and the 1905 trio of Mardi Gras costumers above are from Tidbits, Trinkets and Images.

1930s Rex Parade from WPA Archives

1930s Rex Parade from WPA Archives


Mardi Gras Parade Rules of Conduct!!


There is nothing like Carnival in New Orleans. We have more parties, balls, parades, and events than any other Carnival City in the world. Therefore, following a few common sense rules will help all enjoy the festivities all the more.

1. Watch parking around parades Parking legally is more important than ever, as meter maids track parades big time and ticket on both sides of the parade. Neutral ground parking, which works when it rains real hard, doesn’t fly for parades.

2. Drinking and Mardi Gras  Booze and Carnival are certainly kissing cousins. Beer, wine, and hard booze are all featured each and every day of the Carnival season. Those that imbibe a bit much should call a cab! It’s way cheaper than a DUI.

3. Parade Watching  Most parades, especially the Super Krewes, have very large crowds. Acting mature is the secret; no one meant to run into you while jumping for a neat throw. Keeping your cool and a good attitude is paramount for maximum enjoyment. Stomping on anyone in pursuit of a hot throw is verboten.

4. Special Parade Cases  The old, very young, infirm and handicapped all love parades as much as anyone. If they sit in the front to watch the parades, please give them some space.

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

5. Getting Lost  Prevent it by making certain that everyone has a common meeting place, and has the funds and instructions for getting there or getting home. Pin name, address and phone number tags on small children. Police routinely gather up small children and take them to a central area, usually a mobile unit on Canal Street or St. Charles Avenue.

6. Bathrooms There is money in the bathroom business during Carnival parade season. On Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, where most parades line up, there are a number of schools along the route uptown that offer indoor bathrooms or neat port-o-lets for a buck a session, or 5 or 10 bucks for the day/evening. Sophie B. Wright Charter sells fish/chicken plates with bread, macaroni & cheese, peas, and cake. They also have indoor bathrooms for a buck a time.

7. Grandstand Parade Viewing Area The City of News Orleans annually sells Grandstand tickets for most parades. Seating for parades as shown in the map below can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

Downtown New Orleans Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

New Orleans Parking
New Orleans Parking

Parking in New Orleans can be challenging, considering the millions of visitors who visit by car every year. Even local residents find the parking rules of the city daunting.

The many commercial lots in the French Quarter can usually accommodate enough visitors on a given day. At a few locations within the French Quarter, Early Bird specials are available to motorists ranging from $7.00 to $10.00 all day. With Early Bird deals, however, the driver needs to park by 9:00 A.M. and leave by 6:00 P.M. and cannot leave the parking lot before 3 PM.

After 9:00 a.m., prices rise considerably: hourly rates can run as much as $10.00 in some areas. Please check the hourly rate before deciding where to park.

More daring motorists willing to troll for a space on the street should remember the most important rule of parking in New Orleans: READ PARKING SIGNS CAREFULLY! Rules can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, and some violations can be very costly.

Violations range from $20 at an expired meter and $40 for parking too close to a corner, to $75 for parking on the median (called a “neutral ground” in New Orleans), $200 for parking on the sidewalk in the French Quarter, and $500 for parking boats or trailers in unauthorized areas (which is almost everywhere in the city limits).

Parking Offenses

  • Blocking driveways or fire lanes
  • On sidewalks or neutral grounds
  • Near fire hydrants (within 15 feet)
  • On corners and crosswalks (within 20 feet)
  • In loading and service zones (buses and cab zones too)
  • On a parade route within two hours of a parade
  • During rush hours (7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m.) on major streets
  • On street cleaning days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. – Noon)
  • At bagged meters (during special events) and broken meters
  • Near railroad crossings (within 50 feet)
  • On-street for more than 24 consecutive hours
  • Vehicles longer than 22 feet overnight in the Central Business District
  • On a narrow street without allowing 10 feet of unobstructed roadway
  • More than 18 inches from the curb
  • Having 3 or more unpaid parking violations.

If your car is towed away (we’re sorry, but it happens), contact the Claiborne Auto Pound at (504) 565-7450.

Parking Meters

The city has modernized many of its parking meters, and some now accept dollar bills and credit cards which give you a printed receipt to place on your car dashboard. AS OF MARCH 2010, REGULAR TWO-HOUR METERS COST $1.50/HOUR AND LONG-TERM METERS (UP TO 10 HOURS) COST $1.00/HOUR. BOTH TYPES OF METERS ARE ENFORCED FROM 8 A.M. – 6 P.M. MONDAY – SATURDAY. Parking is prohibited at meters in designated rush hour zones from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Please read the meters before you park! Also know that broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and could land you a ticket!

Handicapped Parking

Don’t park in Handicap Zones without an official handicapped license plate. Drivers in rental cars may obtain a special handicapped placard by calling (504) 483-4610.

Park-N-Shop Lots

Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.


Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.

Two Central Business District shuttles routes are available. Please call for rates and shuttle information.

Park N Ride
900 Howard Avenue
(504) 307-5726

There are two Howard Ave Park and Ride shuttles that run every 6 minutes between 6am – 9:30am and 4pm – 6:30pm. The shuttle driver  is also on call between 9:30 am – 4 pm at 504-307-5726.

The shuttle leaves from the lot at 922/932 Howard, next to WDSU Channel 6, and costs $4/day or $75/month (monthly passes can only be purchased at the beginning of the month). It makes 3 stops:

  1. O’Keefe and Poydras
  2. St. Charles and Poydras
  3. Girod and St. Charles

Fulton Street Garage
901 Convention Center
(504) 891-2897

Drivers can also park outside the downtown area preferably near a Streetcar route, either at parking lot for a fee or on the street, and ride the Streetcar to their destination.


Parking is free on “meter” holidays observed by the City of New Orleans:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Martin L. King, Jr. Day
  • Labor Day
  • Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Christmas Day

Airport Parking

Louis Armstrong International Airport offers plenty of safe, affordable, covered parking connected directly to the main terminal. For rates and more information, visit:

Numbers to Know

General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8004, (504) 658-8005
Booting: (504) 565-7451
Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 565-7451
Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200

Thanks to New Orleans online for the above More Parking Information.


MUSES Charity Ebay Auction Raises $8,899!!

Garrett Hartley in Muses Shoe for Super Bowl Parade

Garrett Hartley in Muses Shoe for Super Bowl Parade

I think the world of Muses for many reasons, their incredible throws, floats, charity events like this one, etc. All women clinches the deal, I think the world of Muses!


Below is from the Muses website, the auction ended yesterday.

Are you ready to roll with the Muses?

Did you hear the membership was closed and the wait-list was over 500 women long?

Attention wannabe Goddesses! This is a once in a lifetime chance for a woman to ride in the 2012 Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans on Thursday, February 16, 2012. Join riding Muses for the annual and much anticipated parade… and jump ahead of the 500+ Muses on the wait list!

Ask anyone who has rolled with the Muses…It’s absolutely Inspirational!

The minimum bid for the ride is $1,000 and the rider must be a woman over the age of 18. Prize includes priceless ride plus costume, mask, entry to the riding-members-only pre-party beginning at 2:00 p.m. and the (always amazing and much anticipated) post-parade aMUSEment Party, plus a small package of throws (not enough for the ride.) Throws, which cost approximately $1,000, must be purchased separately and are available through the Krewe of Muses.

PARADE FOR A CAUSE! The recipient of the proceeds is the Young Survival Coalition, which is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful.

For tax purposes, we value this item at $770. Any excess amount paid may be tax-deductible. However, you should consult your tax professional.

Please contact the Krewe of Muses at or (504) 269-1422 with any questions. The winner should contact Muses as soon as possible after the auction closes to obtain important information regarding the ride.

Make your Mardi Gras Muses fantasies come true!!!

Place your bid on eBay!

The auction ends at 6 p.m. CST on 1/15/2012.

Go to Top